Caesar in a Landslide ...
Elaine Pearson was one of only two
women in the field.
Chris Yaure and Rob Flowers roll thru
Attendance rose again as the event continues establishing
itself as a good reason to appear for Pre-Con Sunday. With a
third heat added to the mix, we had three triple winners and
ten double winners leaving just three semi-final seats for single
heat winners who could also claim a close second. 2010 champ
Randy Buehler and fellow 2011 finalist Zvi Mowshowitz ran the
table in the three heats as did. Sceadeau d'Tela. Sceadeau introduced
the game to his group (the Greenspielers) less than a year ago
and they managed to claim four of the semi-final slots and half
of the laurels.
three triple winners won their fourth straight game in the semi's
to advance and were joined by a third 2011 finalist: Andrew Emerick
(whose only heat loss was to Randy). The early turns were fairly
even, with everyone placing a high priority on the military track
and all three copies of Knights going for multiple civil actions.
Randy also paid multiple actions for Warfare, though it sat in
his hand for quite a while because an early Iron fell to him
for one action when he had six rocks on his board to immediately
promote two bronze workers. Those iron workers also helped feed
his people thanks to a very effective Trade Agreement pact with
The game was all but decided as Age 1 turned into Age 2. Randy
had already built a Theologist just because he needed a source
of happiness and he was able to draft and build St Peter's Basilica
on the last turn of Age 1 just because it's good. Michaelangelo
turned out to be one of the last two Age 1 cards off the deck,
and it slid down to one action just as Randy began his first
Age 2 turn, which was a doozy: Draft Michaelangelo, Play Michaelangelo,
Increase Population, Build Theologist. This gave Randy a culture
rate of 12 per turn, and since he had spent most of Age 1 building
military he was also the strongest.
Age 2 saw everyone trying to get ahead of Randy militaristically,
but he drew four defense cards and a Classic Army. Once a fully
powered Classic Army and two scientific method workers were in
play, the other players concluded one by one that they were actually
playing for second. Randy transitioned to Napoleon as Age 3 started
just to make sure he stayed on top of the military track, and
built Eiffel Tower to keep his culture rate high.
The battle for second was very close. Andrew had fallen behind
in the middle game, but with everyone ignoring him (other than
to offer him Pacts) he stitched his game back together thanks
in large part to a speculative Columbus who eventually discovered
Fertile Territory II. (When you know you're behind, playing to
give yourself opportunities to get lucky is often the right play.)
An unfortunately timed Rats event cost Sceadeau two population
worth of food, and as a result he fell behind on military and
got successfully aggressed by all three players before his next
turn. Zvi seemed to be sitting pretty, but when Andrew got to
build First Space Flight and Sceadeau got to build Fast Food
Chains it became very close. With one Impact left to be revealed
at the end of the game only one point separated all three. Impact
of Population then gave Zvi second, gave Andrew a third that
no one thought he could manage earlier, and showed that Sceadeau's
military woes were in fact too much to overcome no matter how
gamely he fought. Randy outran the field with 188 points followed
by Zui with 125, Andrew 122 and Sceadeau 115.
Overall, it was a well-played Final with Randy piloting his
way through the early turns to a comfortable lead that was never
really threatened. In so doing, he ran his WBC record in the
game to 12-1. Michaelangelo was the winning strategy for the
second year in a row, though the route Randy took to get there
was very different than the more "all-in" strategy
piloted by Jason Ley to win in 2011.
Eric Freeman and Sceadeau D'Tela who
appears afraid of cameras.
The triumphant finalists.